One of the major subtopics emanating from various demonstrations by protesters against police brutality is the militarization of American police forces. We’ve seen, time and again, police forces armored from head to toe, utilizing tanks and high powered weapons to try to quell restless, yet generally peaceful protests. In a firm move from on high, President Barack Obama has ordered the demilitarization of local police forces.
According to Yahoo News, the edict handed down by President Obama prohibits police from buying and using “tracked armored vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers and large-caliber firearms (.50 caliber or greater),” as well as military uniforms. President Obama feels that the police should not be an “occupying force” in American neighborhoods. In his announcement of this order, he said, “We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them. It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message.”
This move by President Obama can be seen as a victory for those who have been fighting on the side of unarmed Black men and women being killed by police since last summer. Though local police forces can still play military with wheeled armored vehicles, Humvees, drones and riot batons, the deadlier weapons are banned. Granted, the weapons that President Obama has banned have not killed many in recent days, their absence may prevent a tragedy from happening.
If something could be done about police shooting innocent people with their service weapons.